Pro-Brexit Tory minister says it’s ‘essential’ free movement is protected

Nigel Adams speaks in the House of Commons. Photograph: PA.

Nigel Adams speaks in the House of Commons. Photograph: PA. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Tory Brexiteer and culture minister Nigel Adams has backed calls for freedom of movement, at least for musicians, despite the fact his government is planning to take it away.

Adams was talking specifically to Music Week about the importance of freedom of movement for artists.

He explained: "Touring is absolutely the lifeblood of the industry and we recognise the importance of the continued ease of movement of musicians, equipment and merchandise once we've left the EU.

"Visa rules for artists performing in the EU will not change until the implementation period ends in December 2020. But these are being considered, with other activity, and we welcome the views of [MPs] and the industry in respect of movement within Europe.

"It's absolutely essential that free movement for artists is protected post-2020."

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He added: "This government is committed to continuing to support this fantastic UK music industry, at home and abroad,

I also recognise the need to consider introducing a comprehensive music strategy. We want our music industry to continue to be the envy of the world."

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His calls have been met with a mixed response from those keen to point out it is his government taking away the rights of free movement.

"With free movement for artists and fish from Grimsby looking for exceptions from #Brexit, what about the rest of us? I want some of what they are smoking," wrote one.

"So why are you abolishing it's then?" asked Helen Salmon.

MORE: Brexiteer urges EU not to 'punish British fish for Brexit stance'

"They have it. You're taking it away," said James O'Brien.

"Did anyone tell you that Brexit removes free movement of people?" posted @implausibleblog.

"That's what we've been screaming about for the last 3 something years," added Chrissie Greech.

"What? He voted 'against' guaranteeing the rights of UK nationals in the EU and EU nationals legally resident in the UK. That includes musicians," pointed out Louise Rowntree.

"Perhaps Brexiters like Nigel Adams should have thought about this earlier," said Tom Scott.

"Finally sinking in is it?" asked Alan Lumb. "Do you think there might be parallels across all industries?"

Others pointed out it appeared to be Brexiteers complaining the most now about the consequences of Brexit.

It follows a Brexit Party MEP complained that leaving the EU leaves the UK with no representation during the transition period.

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